Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Exploring Measurement Through Play - Mass

I want to encourage a love of learning in my children with all areas of life and that includes maths. I never really liked maths as a young learner but when I think of math as a hands-on play-based way to learn about the world, math is SO much fun! 

One topic of maths is measurement and this includes mass (weight), length, time, area, temperature and volume. The first concept we are going to look at here is mass. So here is my simple set up to encourage my children to explore measurement through play.   

Supportive Environment
When you first started looking at mass and ways it can be explored through play, have a look at the environment or area in which you want to create this learning space. Ideally you would want to use a table to keep equipment stable as well as a place to keep the learning resources together. 

In a learning space, I like to use a lot of visual prompts to support the visual learner, encourage curiosity and help with understanding. So having a wall, or in my case a door, to hang up posters on is something to keep in mind when creating your learning space. You can find the FREE printable measurement posters (pictured above) by clicking here.

Equipment and Resources
Having the right equipment to introduce children to mass is important. I first introduced my son to mass by using a Measuring Balance (pictured below) so he could simply explore the concepts of heavier and lighter and experiment with mass by using different materials. I purchased our Measuring Balance from Modern Teaching Aids.  This measuring balance comes with weights and measurements (using metric system) so that you can measure mass and volume for both solids and liquids.

I was lucky enough to find this kitchen scales (pictured below) at our local shop for really cheap. It has been a wonderful addition to our learning resources. It's a great way to introduce different units of measurements, both grams and kilograms, while exploring through play.

Other "weighing" resources that we have been using are simple gems, rocks from the garden, wooden blocks, beads and whatever else your children wanted to weigh. So have a look around your house and your garden and see what your learners might want to weigh.

Vocabulary Development
Using measurement language helps build the vocabulary of the learner as well as their understanding. Verballing labelling resources such as scales and balancing arm can be done easily as the child explores and plays.

Early mass (weigh) vocabulary introduces words such as balance, equal, lighter, heavier, heaviest, weigh, compare etc. As understanding increases, vocabulary such as grams and kilograms is introduced. 

More resources and learning ideas for exploring measurement can be found on my Maths- Measurement pinterest board.

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  1. AMAZING POST! PERFECT TIMING! Thank you! I can't wait to share and apply in our learning environment.

  2. Great resources and ideas! My kids love maths and find it so much more enjoyable than I ever did.

  3. I love your blog! I have nominated Suzie's Home Education Ideas for the One Lovely Blog Award. http://teachingfromatacklebox.blogspot.com/2015/01/one-lovely-blog-award.html

  4. This great! We just started measurements yesterday. Thank you for the ideas :-)